Many patients confuse fibromyalgia for polymyalgia and vice versa. And while this seems like a simple problem, it can easily create complications because people can end up trying the wrong remedies. Some might even have a hard time managing their polymyalgia or fibromyalgia triggers and preventing flare-ups. Because of this, we decided to share a few things about the two conditions and how patients like you can cope with their symptoms.
A Closer Look at Polymyalgia and Fibromyalgia Similarities
The CDC reported that about 2 percent of the US adults or roughly 4 million have fibromyalgia. Meanwhile, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), only 450,000 individuals have polymyalgia. So clearly, there is a big difference between the number of patients diagnosed with each disease.
However, some studies note that it’s still relatively difficult to tell these two apart based on the symptoms alone because they have several similarities, including:
- Ability to cause or trigger depression and other mental health problems
- Widespread body pain that lingers for hours or days
- Having stiff joints, especially during the wee hours of the morning
Thankfully, diagnosis offers a better understanding between the two. While fibromyalgia diagnosis takes time because doctors need to exclude all potential reasons behind a patient’s symptoms, polymyalgia diagnostic tests only need to check for inflammatory proteins in the blood.
It can take less than 24 hours to get a confirmation from your doctor so you can immediately take polymyalgia medications or try specific procedures. Meanwhile, if your physician suspects that you have fibromyalgia, you may need to undergo confirmatory tests such as:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Blood tests to check for rheumatoid factor, anti-nuclear antibodies, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Physical examination of the tender parts of the body
- Retracing your medical history and testing for specific health conditions
What To Do When You Get Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or Polymyalgia
Once your doctor confirms whether you have polymyalgia or fibromyalgia, you can begin seeking remedies or procedures to relieve your symptoms. Here are some of the usual suggestions of physicians and other health professionals depending on the condition you have:
- Using corticosteroids and pain relievers to alleviate muscle stiffness
- Taking calcium supplements to improve bone and joint health
- Taking methotrexate if corticosteroids fail to work
- Taking OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen or anti-depressants
- Trying physical therapy to improve your stamina, strength, and flexibility
- Talking to a counselor to help you create strategies to cope with the impact of your symptoms
- Working with an occupational therapist to ensure that your work area or other aspects of your daily life cause less stress on your mind and body
- Receiving upper cervical chiropractic adjustments to resolve central sensitization
Don’t hesitate to call or write to a medical or healthcare professional to learn more about your options and manage your expectations. After all, fibromyalgia and polymyalgia are chronic conditions that can affect you for several years.
Managing Your Polymyalgia and Fibromyalgia Triggers Through Lifestyle Adjustments
Besides seeking procedures and taking medications, you might also find it helpful to manage polymyalgia and fibromyalgia triggers. You can do this by making a few lifestyle adjustments, such as the following:
- Add nutritious ingredients to your meals like fruits, dairy products, and fresh veggies
- Limit your sodium intake to decrease inflammation and increase blood pressure
- Ask your doctor what exercises and physical activities you can try to cope with your symptoms
- Make sure you get enough rest, especially after a long day
- Try to maximize the use of assistive devices like bathroom grab bars and reaching aids to limit physical overexertion of your joints and muscles
- Manage your stressors and try practicing relaxation tactics
- Plan your daily routine and adjust accordingly depending on the flare-ups you experience
- Avoid using tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars because they can increase your risk for additional problems like disc degeneration disease and hypertension
- Limit the amount of caffeinated beverages or food you consume each day
Beyond Managing of Polymyalgia or Fibromyalgia Triggers
Living with chronic and recurring health problems such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia can be very hard. They can keep you constantly waiting for a flare-up or feeling desperate and helpless when the symptoms impact your life. Thankfully, there are various ways you can cope, like seeking the remedies we shared above.
You should also adjust your lifestyle to avoid polymyalgia and fibromyalgia triggers. Additionally, It might help to consult with an upper cervical care doctor. Thousands of patients who experience debilitating symptoms turn to upper cervical chiropractic care because of its effectiveness in providing lasting relief.
Essentially, this technique recognizes the role of the neck bone alignment in preventing the likely cause behind various chronic pain disorders—an irritated or compressed brainstem. It also helps restore the body’s overall well-being, enabling you to cope better.
If you previously hurt your cervical spine because of an accident or a forceful blow to the neck, we suggest seeing an upper cervical doctor. Your initial consultation might reveal that you have upper cervical subluxations. Once confirmed, your upper cervical chiropractor can provide you with neck adjustments to restore the bones in their original places.
After receiving the adjustments, you will notice changes in the severity of your symptom. You can also increase your chances of eliminating the condition.
Feel free to call an upper cervical chiropractic practitioner near you for lasting fibromyalgia and polymyalgia relief today!